The “alternate version” is the modern hook to get you to buy a CD that you don’t need because you already have the LP (granted, no one’s buying CD’s anymore, so even that statement is about two years out of date). The alternate version might be the take that nearly made the cut for the LP or 45, but was shuffled to the side for a better take – or was, for whatever reason, considered ill-suited for the band’s purposes. Maybe it was too noisy. Maybe someone missed a beat. Maybe someone’s voice cracked. Who knows. Sometimes these alternate versions end up trumping the ones you’re familiar with – or by offering a different feel to a song you’ve heard a bazillion times, ends up being your new “favorite” version. Such is the case with the three crackers I’m posting for you today.
The first is an alternate take on “Hot Wire My Heart” by CRIME. This could have been their first 45 in 1976, but was trumped by the version you know & love. It made its appearance on the “San Francisco’s Still Doomed” reissue LP/CD in 2004. It’s amazing. It doesn’t sound like “Ricky Tractor” missed his drum intro this time. The second example is from THE MISFITS’ “Static Age” posthumous LP/CD, which is far and away the finest thing they ever did, and one of the great punk rock records of all time. This version of “Spinal Remains” did not make it onto the box set version of “Static Age”, but when the lost LP was reissued on its own, there it was. It hands-down blows away the version that was on the 1980s posthumous collection “Legacy of Brutality”. That’s what I think, anyway.
Finally, we have “Thirsty and Miserable” from BLACK FLAG from the infamous Licorice Pizza 45. It was bootlegged recently on “Freak Flag” records. When Black Flag was weighed down in court over the not-yet-released “Damaged” LP, they illicitly leaked this thing out in small quantities. Of course it totally rips – it’s the five-piece lineup with Dez Cadena on guitar. Jesus. People I know who saw this version of the band are still yammering about how great it was. If I could go back in time……seriously. Gotta be in my Top 5 bands I wish I’d seen. Enjoy ‘em all – and happy new year to ya.
Play Crime “Hot Wire My Heart (alternate version)”
Download CRIME – “Hot Wire My Heart (alternate version)”
Download THE MISFITS – “Spinal Remains (alternate version)”
Download BLACK FLAG – “Thirsty and Miserable” (Licorice Pizza 45 version)”